Warsaw Businesses Acknowledge, Cater to Gay Community

“On the contrary, this emphasizes that every guest is desirable, including homosexual people,” explained Dr. Maciej Gdula, a sociologist from Warsaw University. In the capital city of Poland, there are at least a dozen or so such locals.

Some Warsaw entrepreneurs understand that homosexuals are a significant group of consumers. In some places, the managers have labeled their businesses “gay-friendly.”

In other places, the designation is the result of customer requests.

“Friends convey between themselves their opinions about such locals,” said Michal Hucal, head of the Polish Economic Society for Gays and Lesbians. “Also the workers in those places, who are from the community, contribute to their reputation.”

Tasteful furniture, quiet music, nice atmosphere. Photos of old Paris hanging on the walls. The smell of fried batter hangs in the air. The Pancake Restaurant near Zbawiciel Square isn’t much different from similar businesses in Warsaw. What makes it special is a little rainbow flag on the entrance door.

“This is a sign: we are gay-friendly,” said Michal, the restaurant manager. “You can see a cross-section of society coming in. There is a church opposite our building. It may happen that a family, who comes here after Sunday Mass, sits next to a pair of boys holding hands. Nobody has ever made a fuss over it. The customers are here for good pancakes.”

The artistic center M25, or Minska 25, is one of a few Warsaw clubs where homosexuals can relax and feel safe. Nobody is shocked at the sight of a homosexual pair dancing.

“I like this place, as nobody here treats me as something strange,” said Jacek, a gay student “I can just come here with my boyfriend and have a good time.” According to Marcin, M25’s manager, the artistic center isn’t known as just a gay club. “Our guests are very diverse, but all of them are enjoying themselves. In the end, the culture is for everyone!”

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